Held to the whim of rapidly changing trends, it is not uncommon to find kitchens barely five years old discarded or stripped from homes. In 2018, 78% of home improvements were for kitchen renovations, (according to the Home Builders Association). Off-cut kitchen is a physical manifestation of our local deconstruction and reuse network. While there are endless examples of aesthetic experimentation within the architectural interior, the materials are almost always the same, melamine, MDF, veneer and natural stone. Our question became, how can we construct a kitchen using only materials destined for landfill?
Crises are powerful agents for change. The worldwide pandemic and recent natural disasters have highlighted the fragility of human health, along with the importance of taking care of our planet. Like many industries, architecture and construction has responded with efforts to evolve practices in sustainable ways.
Simply put, rammed earth is an ancient technique for constructing foundations, floors and walls using raw materials such as earth, chalk, lime or gravel. It has been used to create buildings around the world whose beauty and robustness are still visible today, like the Alhambra in Spain and the Great Wall of China, both built more than 1000 years ago.
Architects are, to varying degrees, changing their processes and priorities to create more sustainable designs. But it can be difficult to get clients and others on board. Here, members of the profession explain how they are approaching this issue and discuss the best ways to move the industry forward.
One of the key aspects of elevating the conversation from sustainability to climate change is to shift the thinking from what is feasible to what is necessary to avoid catastrophic changes to the environment.
Jeremy McLeod and Madeline Sewall of Breathe Architecture on sustainability, right-sized housing and building more with less.
Research on low-carbon and zero-emission building design across North America and Europe, published prior to both the devastating bushfires and the pandemic, reinforce the urgency for us to deliver resilient, low-carbon buildings.
The changing profile of architecture. Interview with Ivan Harbour and Avtar Lotay, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners.
If we look at Greater Melbourne as one interconnected system, with inputs and outputs, it’s expensive to run, it’s high maintenance, and it’s leaving a mess behind for future custodians.